The Valley Players has been promoting cultural activities in the Mad River Valley for forty years, including production of plays and musicals, education in theatrical arts, and concerts and comedy shows. We also make our space available to other theatrical groups, musicians, and individuals for performances or gatherings. Even with the challenges of 2020, we are committed to continue serving residents and visitors with new shows and events.
The Board of Directors of the Valley Players community theater is pleased to announce the awards given at the Annual Meeting of the membership, which was held on June 7 via the conferencing platform Zoom.
The Valley Players Performing Arts Scholarship was founded in 2001 to encourage and support the pursuit of education in the performing arts. This year’s recipients are Ella Holter of Warren, and Emma Greenwood of Waitsfield. Holter will be going to study vocal jazz at the Lamont School of Music at University of Denver, and Greenwood plans to study classical voice at UNC Greensboro. Each year, the Valley Players works with educators and community theater presenters to identify Harwood Union High School students who are graduating seniors and going on to pursue a career in the performing arts, including theater, music, dance, or technical aspects of these arts such as stage management, set design, costume creation, or directing.
The Vermont Playwrights Award was established in 1982, with the intent of promoting theater arts and encouraging and supporting the creation of original plays by residents of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. A cash prize is awarded to the winning playwright, and the winning play also may be produced by the Valley Players. This year, the winner is The Unicorn from the Stars by David John Preece of Manchester, New Hampshire. The play is a fictionalized story about the poet/writer Sylvia Plath during her time living in England, and her friendship with one of her neighbors.
Preece received education and theatre/film training at University of Wisconsin-Madison, HB Studios and Playwrights Horizons in New York City, American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, and University of California/Los Angeles. His plays Charles Dickens’ Ghost Stories, The House of the Seven Gables, and Tender have all been winners of Best Play given by the New Hampshire Theatre Awards, and his short film, Lunch with Eddie, which he wrote, directed, and produced, was shown at over thirty international film festivals and won several awards including Best Short Film and Best Director.
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